Introduction to Payment Institutions 

Payment Institutions

A ‘payment institution’ is defined in the Payment Services Directive ('Directive') as a legal person (i.e. must be incorporated - sole traders cannot be authorised) that has been granted authorisation in accordance with Regulation 18 of the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulation 2009 ('Regulations') to provide and execute payment services throughout the European Community.

The Directive was transposed by S.I. No. 383 of 2009 European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009  which became effective in Ireland on 1 November 2009.  The Central Bank of Ireland ('Central Bank') is the competent authority for the purpose of implementation of the Directive.

Payment institutions must obtain authorisation from the Central Bank in order to provide payment services. The provisions of the Regulations will apply to persons providing ‘payment services’.  

Payment Services

 A ‘payment service’ is defined in Schedule 1 of the Regulations as:

1.      Services enabling cash to be placed on a payment account as well as all the operations required for operating a payment account.

2.      Services enabling cash withdrawals from a payment account as well as all the operations required for operating a payment account.

3.      Execution of payment transactions, including transfers of funds on a payment account with the user's payment service provider or with another payment service provider:

            (a) execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits 

(b) execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device 

(c) execution of credit transfers, including standing orders.

4.      Execution of payment transactions where the funds are covered by a credit line for a payment service user:

            (a) execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits 

(b) execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device 

(c) execution of credit transfers, including standing orders

5.      Issuing payment instruments or acquiring payment transactions.

6.      Money remittance.

7.      Execution of payment transactions where the consent of the payer to execute a payment transaction is given by means of any telecommunication, digital or IT device and the payment is made to the telecommunication, IT system or network operator, acting only as an intermediary between the payment service user and the supplier of the goods and services.

Payment Service Providers  

In addition to the firms listed on the Register of Payment Institutions who have been granted an authorisation pursuant to Regulation 18 of the Regulations and the Register of Credit Unions under Regulation 9(1)(b) of the Regulations, there are other Payment Service Providers who have the right to provide payment services under Regulation 8 of the Regulations. These are: 

1.     A credit institution within the meaning of Directive 2006/48/EC,

2.     An electronic money institution (within the meaning of the European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 183 of 2011),

3.     An Post, in its capacity as a provider of banking and giro services, or the postal authority of another Member State in its capacity as the provider of a giro service,

4.     The Central Bank, European Central Bank & other Member State Central Banks not acting in its capacity as a monetary authority, 

5.     A Member State, or a regional or local authority not acting in its capacity as a public authority,

6.     A person for the time being permitted under Part 8 of the Regulations to provide the payment service,

7.     Small payment institutions, and

8.     Payment Institutions authorised in another EEA Member State who have given notice in accordance with Article 25 of the Payment Services Directive (a register of these firms will be available on the Home Member State Register of Payment Institutions).